As the Nandigram episode of March 14 gradually unravels, it’s clear that the government is firmly on the backfoot. The refusal to hand over land has now assumed an alarming dimension. Forget industrialization, even land for infrastructure projects already undertaken or planned shortly are hard to come by.
NH-35, that links Barasat with Bongaon on way to Petrapole on Bangladesh border cannot be widened because people are unwilling to handover land. This is a central government project undertaken by NHAI (National Highway Authority of India), a long needed one, aimed at improving road connection.
Similar troubles are brewing up for improving NH-34 too, as also plans to improve village roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna.
If not utilized, funds that are allocated under such schemes are returned. And once that happens, it becomes doubly difficult to get fresh allocations. Which means whatever has been done so far or planned for taking up remain unfinished.
Perhaps it’s game for some people to keep the burning issues simmering for as long as they serve their interests. It’s not they who care if in the process the state suffers. Bengal has suffered for long, and now it seems its destiny will not be any different for many more years to come. The flicker of hope that seemed so real even a few months back now looks elusive as ever.